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Hardball Weekend

The best of ``Hardball With Chris Matthews.''

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00:31:00

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1920

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1080

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Nevada 5, Jonathan 4, Sean Hannity 4, Martin Luther King 3, Michael Steele 2, Seattle 2, Hannity 2, Cliven Bundy 2, Neutrogena 2, Geico 2, Paul 2, Clive Bundy 2, Msnbc 2, New York 2, Cliven Bunld 1, Ralston 1, Martin Luther King Jr. 1, Roc Retinol Correxion 1, Doorstep 1, Cnn 1,
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  MSNBC    Hardball Weekend    The best of ``Hardball  
   With Chris Matthews.''  

    April 26, 2014
    2:00 - 2:31am PDT  

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>> conservatives wish they knew how to quit clive bundy. let's play "hardball." >> leading off tonight, the conservative movement bundy problem. republicans who all once defended cliven bundy can't run away fast enough. bundy doesn't seem eager to go away though. after doubling down yesterday on the comments that maybe african-americans were better off as slaves, he moved even further down the rabbit hole. he said that martin luther king
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jr. has been on his mind a lot lately. >> maybe i sinned. maybe i need to ask for forgiveness, and maybe i don't know what i actually said, but, you know, when you talk about prejudice, we're talking about not being able to exercise what we think and our feelings. i say negro or black boy or slave. i'm not -- if those people cannot take those kind of words and not be offensive, then martin luther king hasn't got his job done yet. i should be able to say those thinged and she shouldn't offend anybody. >> are black people better off as slaves, why should they offend anyone? the drama raises tough questions. why are people like bundy attracted to the conservative movement? and why do conservatives seem so
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willing to make them into folk hero, whether it's bundy or ted nugent or even the rodeo clown with the obama mask before them? these people seem to find a comfortable home on the political right, there's until they go one step too far. the former chair of the republican national committee. jonathan capehart, both are msnbc contributors. i'll start with you. i guess the question of this whole saga raises for me is the republican party, the conservative movement. is what does it say to you that so many prominent conservatives. sean hannity, rand paul, we're talking about big names here. what does it say they looked at this guy, a guy being backed by a militia that had people talking about using women answer human shields, a guy who wouldn't recognize the existence of the federal government. what does it say to you that they are able to look at him and it doesn't register to them that hey, there might be cooky ideas.
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what does that say about the conservative movement? >> i think you've got two parts. the one is there might be something kookey about this guy. i think the linking arms is the first part of this. the general argument, the principled idea that is talked about or espoused in this case. the government right to do what it was doing with respect to the land that was in dispute, the use of the land. over the last 20 years and all of that. >> i didn't even get that part of it, michael. we still need to know what the real dispute there was. from a legal standpoint this guy -- >> there is no standing here for this guy. that's obvious. >> without a legal argument? >> i'll be honest i can't speak to all of that because i don't know what the ultimate motivation beyond sort of the popular sentiment among some conservatives that the constitution is under assault. these become rallying cries
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until they are not. and that's the situation here. look, you know, there is conservatism that is about individual opportunities and freedoms and then there's what this guy apparently -- i don't even call this conservatism. this is not what the conservatism or the party is about from my standpoint. somehow we wrap our arms around it and it always comes back to bite in a very important way. and i think leaders like rand paul and others need to be much more careful and smarter about how you articulate these principles and how you allow people to attach them and adopt them that distort the underlying essence of them. >> i want to follow up on that quickly because you mentioned rand paul. i want to know what you think of this because this isn't the first time something like this has happened with rand paul. this is the rand paul who talked a few years ago about maybe having problems with part of the civil rights act of 1964, who had the southern avenger on his
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staff who ghost wrote his book. rand paul seems has been down this road before and keeps going down this road. this is a guy who is one of the top contenders for your party's nomination. are you worried given this history? >> no, i'm not worried about in this sense. i mean look, i don't think there was knowledge of forethought what mr. bundy thought about these issues and certainly bringing martin luther king in it is the height of ignorance as if martin luther king would be standing side by side with him on this point. i can't speak to it and i don't think that rand paul or sean or any one else had any idea this is what this guy's views were and what he ultimately how he ultimately felt about black people or seeing black people thinking they would be better off as slaves. that is the height of stupidity. i don't think that's the case. i think for a lot of these folks it was the initial cause celeb about you know, the constitution
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and his rights to you know, to be the rancher and defend his property when in fact legally he was wrong. >> right. that's it. i wonder if somebody like rand paul is going to sit back and say why does this keep happening? let's listen to that. >> the issue with clive bundy has absolutely nothing to do with this party. zero. he is a rancher that had a beef with the federal government's continued overreach and suddenly this became a question when he made inappropriate comments about what every republican needs to answer for. that is ridiculous. >> jonathan, what do you make of that? it's not like there were no republicans, no major republicans standing up for this guy and making a huge issue out of this. >> right. here's the thing. the republican party wouldn't have the problem it has with the cliven bundies in its midst if a grown-up had come up at the beginning when the tea party was getting up and running and said
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what's happening here within our party on the fringes of our party is not right and we have to do -- we have to speak out about this. i went back because i remembered a "new york times" story from february of 2010, and it was so frightening to me because it talked about how there's a loose alliance of protesters from the far right fringe who were glomming onto the tea party, the legitimate folks who had concerns about the deficit and the economic direction of the country, they were glomming onto the party. and what was interesting and what's ironic now is that in the lead paragraph of that piece i said that i urged republican national party chairman michael steele and other republicans to start speaking out against these people before they lose control of their party. here we are four years later, and we're talking about a guy who is an outlaw who is breaking federal law who is a hero to a lot of people within now the base of the republican party who
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is in -- wrap him in a bear hug until, surprise, surprise, he says something untoward and big oted and racistnd and we've seen it over and over. >> you're the former chairman, but somebody who has the role now or a role like the one you had, where is that leadership, where is that voice in the republican party at the very beginning of the thing to put the brakes on to the say to rand paul, to sean hannity, stop, don't go down this road? >> well, i can go back and i know exactly what jonathan is talking about and i remember that piece. i remember at that time having conversations with republicans as well as true tea party activists who as jonathan noted were more concerned about the constitution and budgets and federal spending than they were anything, i mean this was just as much outlier for them then as it is now. and the fact of the matter is we very much were concerned about
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how this thing grows into something that distorts ultimately what this party is about and what it stands for. we're at that doorstep at this moment, and i think we all need to take hold and i think this is an opportunity of leadership for the likes of rand paul to make it very clear, where are you on this, how do you want to lead this party as a reflection of how you're going to lead the country. how do you speak to the country about matters of race when you embrace this kind of hate-filled racism? >> speaking of sean hannity last night he joined the stampede of conservatives running away from the bundy ranch. >> i believe those comments are downright racist, they are repugnant, they are bigoted and it's beyond disturbing. i find those comments to be deplorable and i think it's extremely unfortunate that cliven bundy holds those views. >> mere's what bundy said after bei . >> i don't think i've been abandoned.
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i think maybe they misunderstood me a little bit but i think fox and i, i think hannity and -- and i are just right on. i have no doubt that he would be support me if he understood me really what's in my heart. i think he does understand me. >> well jonathan, hannity called him every name in the book, he heard it and says oh, yeah, i think he still understands me. it says to me there is something deeper here, deeper about the messaging that has been sent out to cliven bundy, people like bundy that tells them hey, we have a kinship. what is drawing somebody like a cliven bund tee the conservative movement? >> the problem with cliven bundy, in his interview on cnn, in his radio interview where he tried to say "the new york times" got his quote wrong and want a retraction. cliven bundy is in his own world. he is in this delusional world where he thinks that what he
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said is perfectly fine. just because he said i wonder if black people would have been better off under slavery he clearly does not understand that equating black people and slavery and today and that life would be better under slavery, is someone who is not in touch with reality, not in touch with where things are in this country now. i wish that republican politicians who are -- who are you know, guilty of using slave imagery to talk about opposition to the president's policies or opposition to democrats, that they adopt the position that -- just don't talk about slavery. do not talk about slavery being better, talk about slavery comparing slavery to today, because what you're talking about is an institution that robbed people of their liberty, robbed people of their dignity, robbed people of their humanity. and so if republicans want to be associated with people who think that that life was better, then
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they can just be happy to watch the republican house burn down. >> well, just to make that -- >> quickly. >> to make that point clear if they associate themselves with that kind of rhetoric and that kind of thought then they deserve everything they get as a result of it. period. >> let's see you know, i said rand paul has been down this road a number of times. let's see if it happens again in the future. thank you, michael steele, jonathan, you can catch jonathan this weekend coming up cliven bundy's cows still grazing on federal land. and there are militia men patriots all over bundy's hometown. what happens next? here's when you know that democrats do feel better about obamacare, when they start running on it, not away from it. guess what, a few of them are starting to. john boehner sticks it to his right wing colleagues refusing to move on immigration. >> here's the attitude. oh, don't make me do this. oh, this is too hard.
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you should hear them. >> is that refusal to do anything on immigration helping to make the gop the place for the cliven bundies feel comfortable. the me-coon who helped make george w. bush president. this is "hardball" your place for politics. ou're on to the ne. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair has the fastest retinol formula to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles in just one week. neutrogena®.
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welcome back to "hardball" cliven bundy from hero to zero since his remarks. the issues at the heart of the dispute are unresolved. his cows still graze on federal land. fees remain unpaid and militia members supporting bundy are steadfast despite the gravity of the rancher's comments. yesterday las vegas sun, here's
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how he characterized the media coverage of bundy's comments. that's not our focus at all. it's part of misinformation to maintain the divide. things like this will be out there to discredit bundy a weapon to create division. it goes on to say many supporters have ignored reports ever bundy's remarks. so now that bundy is discredited himself and hi cause how will this wind down? with us is steven from nevada. and john host of ralston reports. congressman, this is your district. are these your constituents. not all of the militia men are yours but the people in this community certainly are. i wonder we lose sight sometimes by focusing on the militia presence. there is a community here. how has that community been dealing with this? >> well, many people in bunkerville and the surrounding area and in the valley and
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mesquite feel terrorized by these outside armed militia groups, they are not from our community, they are not from nevada. they are coming here and they actually have set up kind of a military police state where individuals who live in the community have to go through their check point in order to get to their house. we have -- >> you have check points set up from this militia? >> the militia groups set up their own check points so people who live there actually have to go through those check points to get to their home. i met with people who told me their kids can't walk around the corner from their house to their school because there's armed militia in the hills. they tried to go to church on sunday and there were armed militia around the church because cliven bundy was there. they want them to leave so that our community can go back to normal. >> so what's happening with local law enforcement? there still are police out
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there, right. there are check points, i mean the cops can do something about that, can't they? >> this is part of why i met with the local elected officials yesterday including representatives from the sheriff's department, so that we could get a resolution. but what we need first is for these armed militia to leave our community. to leave the state of nevada. so that we can solve our own land use issues on our own. >> i understand but with these check points, so what did the sheriff's department tell you? are they planning to do anything about it? >> because this is information that we have just received, it was actually through an e-mail to my office from a constituent we're now working with those agencies to try to see what can be done but most importantly we need cliven bundy to tell these armed militia to leave. bunkerville and the surrounding communities. >> john, let me ask you. you know that the state as well as anyone. we here back in the east about
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how the issue of federal land is something that supposedly generated a lot of sympathy for bundy from people out there at least before all of this started. was that true? was there before the racist comments came to light, a fair degree of sentiment supportive or sympathetic to him in nevada? how much is left? is it just the militia men or a chunk of the population that is supporting him? >> well, there is a divide in nevada as there is in the country, steve, between rural and urban america. and there's a lot of rural folks out in nevada who think the feds own too much of their land out there, 80 plus percent. so yes, they sympathize with bundy. he is a terrible, terrible person for them to put up because he has been breaking the law for 20 years and it's not his land, it is federal land and many other ranchers in other parts of the state pay their grazing fees. we had five conservative legislators, republicans from the assembly and the senate
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write a letter demanding a state investigation of the blm's actions as a way to get into this issue of transferring the federal land to the state land, never asking some key questions such as really, can the state really take care of that land any better than the feds? does any one think that cliven bunld he got away with not paying his bills for 20 years to the federal government would have paid the state government? so yeah, there still that out there. some of the prominent folks and shawn han i if i got out his words and started spewing all of that. but they still sympathize with this guy. no question about it. >> thank you, up next do you remember the republican presidential candidate who was a pizza king? contestants on jeopardy did, "the side show" is next. @ñ
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like every folk hero, he deserves a folk song. ♪ cliven didn't understand why should he have to pay for land this land belongs to you and me that's what he told sean hannity ♪ this is the ballad of cliven bundy ♪ >> i want to tell you one more thing i know about the negro. >> okay that's enough of the song. >> back to "hardball." time for the sideshow. no one could have summed it up better. conservatives are fleeing him in droves. no wonder those to took on his cause. john stewart and the story on the daly show last night. >> states rights, sovereign citizen cliven bundy is apparently also a professor of negro studies. >> and i've often wondered were
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they better off as slaves, picking cotton, having family life and doing things or are they better off under government subsidy? >> well, interesting question i guess history will be the judge. oh, what's that, history decided and the answer is no, they are not better off. if i may offer a bit of advice to the television outlet promoting this gentleman, it would be nice not to see this anymore. >> i guess maybe i'm a little bit like the founding fathers. >> well, yes, a bit like the founding fathers but the bitter view is the bit of them we're ashamed of. >> next up, if you see my weekend show up with steve kornacki you might know that i love game shows. this week jeopardy had a blast from the past. 99.9% sure that "hardball" viewers will have better luck. >> this pizza magnate and 2012 president candidate was a math major at historically black
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morehouse college. how quickly you have forgotten herman cain. >> chris will be back on monday. hope you'll join me later this morning. coming up "your business" with jj ramberg. 
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